Ros Warby Returns

Recently landed: Ros Warby Returns, Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

"The spaces we inhabit can frame our experience. How we see, and relate to each other and the world, inspire what we imagine, create, build and destroy. Hierarchies exist, however small, and we navigate them daily. And the body seems to tell all." The body is an incredible vessel; a physical form capable of invoking meaning through a singular gesture, a tilt of the head, a leg extended, an arm hinged at the elbow like a tent; and shown in sequence, in a dance that prowls and covers every inch of the stage as if testing its confines, it is potent. And for the course of a December evening, the space we inhabited was the seemingly infinite darkness of the Sylvia Staehli theatre at Dancehouse. We had come to see Ros Warby perform, for two nights only, a work still in unsettled form, in the process of development, Court Dance (2014), and an adaptation and performance of No Time to Fly (2010).

This double bill proved to be my own long-overdue introduction to Ros Warby’s work experienced with my own eyes, and I lapped up the experience. Several days later, having seeped into my thoughts and made a roost there, I am conscious that I missed a terrific deal. Moreover, this is exciting, this iceberg tip. These two pieces, presented with a small interval of barely three minutes, time enough for a costume change (Warby) and a bewildered and amazed headshake (me), with its grace, curious language (both of the body and spoken), and cerebral titillation, tapped into my curiosity to know more. I sat entranced by the carnival of shapes that Warby could make that leapt from the tentative exploration of a limb's sturdiness to a magnificent fluid bend. If we understand the world and our place in it, though our body, aware that the very space it occupies informs our perception, I desire the lion's share of my lessons to be in such a classroom. For now, I take heart in Warby’s own words about her work
Tower Suites (2012), from which Court Dance extends, that whilst this knowledge and "these events are embedded in our systems and psyches already, .... the work is not supposed to be weighed down with these references, but rather allows them to be there in the context of our day-to-day lives; and perhaps reminds us how we relate — to each other and the world we live in."

Ros Warby performing at Dancehouse, Melbourne (Image credit: Gregory Lorenzutti)